by Michelle Diener
GENRE: Science Fiction Romance
When the people of Barit first saw the silver glint of sky craft, they felt awe. Then awe turned to fear. And they found a name for the mysterious newcomers. Sky raiders.
Garek's one year of duty as a guard walking the walls of Garamundo was extended to two when the sky raiders appeared. Two long years away from home and his lover, Taya. When he finally returns, the town is empty. While Garek was protecting Garamundo, the sky raiders were taking their victims from his hometown.
Taya can't bear looking into the night sky. All she can see is Barit, her home planet. Impossibly, the sky raiders have brought her and their other victims to Shadow, the planet that shadows her own, and looking up makes her aware of everything she's lost. Garek is out there somewhere. She knows he'll look, but he'll never find her.
She and the other captives have to find a way to escape. Without the food and clothes the sky raiders bring them from their raids on Barit, they'll starve on the almost barren wastes of Shadow. And when they've given the sky raiders enough of what they want, that's exactly what the sky raiders will leave them to do.
What Taya doesn't realize is she'll have some help with her plan. Because Garek isn't giving up on finding her. And he's even more resourceful than she could ever have imagined.
Nothing is going to keep him from Taya. Not even space itself.
He'd asked her to wait for him, and then he'd disappeared for two years.
As he reached the top of the pass and started down the steep path to the valley below, Garek wondered just how angry Taya would be.
That she would be angry enough to have taken someone else sat like week-old loaf in his stomach, heavy and sickening.
He'd had no choice, had come as soon as he could . . . he tried to shake off the chill that touched him, despite the bright day. He'd take her anger, her fury--he'd take it all if it meant he didn't find her with someone else.
He forced himself to pay attention as the path became steeper still, and frowned at how badly maintained the way had become, as if no one had repaired the damage a winter in the mountains could do to a narrow track. The spring thaw had come and gone, replaced by a golden summer, and the snow had retreated to the tops of the mountains.
Kas should have done something about the erosion by now, even though this path was a shortcut few besides the villagers knew of, cutting across the Crag and shaving hours off the journey through the foothills.
The familiar landscape tugged at something inside him. He hadn't thought himself sentimental, and though he'd missed Taya with an ache that hurt worse than a knife to flesh, he hadn't thought the sight of the rolling hills and high peaks would affect him. The crowds and enclosing stone walls of Garamundo had been something to bear stoically, but he was surprised how easy it was to breathe here, and it wasn't just because the air was sweet with the scent of summer grass.
When he'd left two years ago, the only thing he'd regretted was leaving Taya behind him, and he'd come back only to fetch her.
Fetch her and run, as fast as possible.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Michelle Diener is the author of the bestselling, award-winning Class 5 series. She writes historical fiction, science fiction and fantasy and loves creating new worlds for her and her readers to escape to. She lives in Australia with her husband and two children.
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4.25 out of 5 stars
Sky Raiders by Michelle Diener is a science fiction tale with elements of romance that introduces a mysterious conflict between the inhabitants of a world called Barit that has minimal technological advances and the aliens they call sky raiders who have inexplicably kidnapped groups of able-bodied individuals and forced them into manual labor despite having wondrous machines and capabilities. Garek’s quest to find Taya, the woman he was forced to leave when conscripted into service, leads him to overcome amazing challenges and search for a way to counter the sky raiders. Taya, not one to passively accept oppression, is doing her best to find a way to fight back. Her newly discovered talent may help or hinder her, but her faith in Garek may be her best weapon.
I was delighted to discover a new universe to explore as I became immediately captured in this story. The mysterious elements and intense determination displayed by Garek as he works his way back to the woman he reluctantly left behind was nicely contrasted with the plight of those who have been forced into manual labor under an odd set of circumstances. I enjoyed the undercurrents of the friction between groups forced to depend on each other despite cultural differences and the author did a great job of depicting personalities through the actions and reactions of different characters.
I was a little frustrated at the sheer number of mysteries that aren’t solved. The gradual revelation of powers and their limitations, the complication of the mysterious ore, the ignorance of the capabilities and appearance of the sky raiders, the cultural distrust and oppression of one of the factions, the complex hierarchy and obligations that go with it, and other issues are touched upon but rarely completely fleshed out. Fortunately, the action and emotion conveyed in the story were strong enough to keep me fascinated despite my confusion about the myriad of details, and I have no doubt that revelations will be made in subsequent stories.
Those who are squeamish should be aware that there is a degree of violence present, some of which is alluded to from past events, and intimate scenes are discreetly portrayed.
This is a great introduction to an exciting and intriguing series and I definitely look forward to reading more about these charismatic folks and finding out how the power struggles play out.
A copy of this title was provided to me for review